simple is beautiful

My Favorite Room: Courtney of A Thoughtful Place

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today we have Courtney here from the blog "A Thoughtful Place".  Welcome Courtney!

I was so honored when Rene asked me to be a part of this great series. She is one of my favorite bloggers around. Her impeccable style and kind heart are such a winning combination.
 My favorite room really has less to do with design and more to do with memories. Our house lacks a formal dining room, but the kitchen opens up to a rather large dining space. The table easily extends so  we have hosted countless holidays, tea parties, informal gatherings, and birthday parties. But more than that, these rooms are the heart of the home. Most days you can find me cooking dinner while the kids dream up their next big project at the dining room table. It's really where I love to be. Not only that, but the wood floors and open floor plan make for killer impromptu dance parties! 

The kitchen really came a long way and you can see all of the special touches we added right here. It's clean and simple with just a touch of glamour. It think that is the design style that really makes me most happy. 

The dining room drapes were my biggest accomplishment in this room. I like the clean lines and  the effect they have when they are drawn closed.

This room is also my favorite because it has the French doors that open to a side patio. I tried to bring the outside in with the touches of green and the botanical artwork {free by the way!}. The chandelier is that little bit of glamour I crave in each room.

These rooms are such a huge part of our lives. We have had countless giggles, messes, pretend cooking shows and projects born from these spaces. Quite simply, they are my favorite. Thanks so much for having me, Rene. 

A Thoughtful Place Blog 

It has been fun to watch the changes take place in your dining room Courtney.  It is beautiful!  Thanks so much for sharing your favorite room with us today!  

To see more of Courtney's work go here.

Client Work: Family Room Plans

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recently, I posted about a downstairs family room that needed a little tweaking.  Here is the arrangement that I planned for the space.  The room is open to two different sets of stairs and a hallway.  So the trick was leaving an open path for traffic flow.

  Here is the mood board that I created to address some of the needs.

My client was considering a striped rug to layer over the carpet.  I thought it was a great idea and included it in the mood board.  The marbled paper is the "mixer" of the room tying the coral & gray/blue together.  You can't see it from the image, but the chairs have colorful buttons in the tufting.

Also, my client likes the look of a truly "collected" gallery wall - photos, art, prints, etc.  This is the arrangement I came up with.  She is fortunate to have 10 1/2 ' ceilings on one side of the room so the gallery wall will fill that space nicely. 

I cannot wait to see this some together and will hopefully have pictures to share soon.

If you would like to learn more about my design services, go here


Enter promo code THANKYOU2 to receive 20% off Cottage & Vine.

How to Grow Succulents & a 20% Off Sale

Monday, August 29, 2011

I hope that everyone had a nice weekend and made it through the storm.  We were lucky to escape with only high winds thankfully.

Over the weekend I visited my local nursery in search of succulents.  I had so much fun talking to the nice man about growing conditions, etc. and thought I would share his tips in case you are interested in growing succulents yourself.

Succulents drink a fair amount of water, but it is important that they have good drainage.

They also prefer bright light and would be very happy in a sunny window.  Bright indirect light is best.

Succulents can grow in all sorts of containers.  I really like this terrarium style with the soil on the bottom and grit or gravel on top.

I chose three succulents to try thinking our kitchen window would be the perfect sunny spot.  The soil that was recommended was this cactus mix which provides good drainage.  I started with small plants because I like to watch things grow. 

 Here they are all potted up in our kitchen window.  Does anyone remember Smith & Hawken (the catalog)?  I have had this copper tray from the old Smith and Hawken days.  Our window boxes came from there too.  Gosh I miss that catalog.

Have you tried succulents?  If you like the look, but don't have a green thumb, you can find a tutorial for a faux succulent terrarium right here.  Enjoy your day.


I have extended the sale in my etsy store.  Use promo code THANKYOU2 at checkout to receive 20% off.  Sale ends Wednesday.  Happy shopping!

What a Week...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Emerald Isle

This has been quite the week this week.  First came the earthquake that we felt even here in North Carolina - literally shaking our house.  Then came the first day of school.  And now for the hurricane.  For me it is a week of letting go and watching our boys soar into the new school year.  Bitter sweet.

Next week will be a little more normal around here.  Thanks for sticking around.  Happy weekend!

Little Surprises - Dreamy Chairs

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm keeping this post short & sweet today.  School starts so I am needed elsewhere...

I love pretty little surprises.  Especially when they come in the form of fabric.  This would be a great way to stretch the fabric budget too by using the pricier fabric in a smaller area.

A Dose of Pretty

What about you - do you like pretty surprises too?

My Favorite Room: Nita of Mod Vintage Life

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today we have Nita here from Mod Vintage Life.  One thing I really enjoy about this series is that each guest brings a whole new style and Nita is no exception.  Nita lives in a 1930's tudor revival house and chronicles many of the updates she has made to her house on her blog.  Welcome Nita!

I'm so very happy to be asked by Rene to contribute to her series - "My Favorite Room". 
Cottage and Vine was one of the first blogs I read when I started my own it's fun to be included 
in a blog that I've long admired. 
It was hard for me to choose my favorite room but it came down to which room do 
I enjoy changing things up in the most. And that makes my 
{my favorite room}

I began the revitalization of my 1931 tudor/storybook cottage by designing and building a
reproduction art tile fireplace to replace the one that had long ago been removed from the home.

Oh how I enjoy decorating this mantel for each season.

After the fireplace was completed...I installed a 1920's chandelier and hand painted (by me) ceiling medallion.
I knew from the beginning that the ceiling would be blue.

Oh... I love this antique chandi!

 Ever changing vignettes throughout the room.

I can't resist giving you a peek into my dining room.
I completed painting all that furniture white this past spring. 
I am anxious to go all out holiday decorating it from Halloween through Christmas. 
For you see I'm pretty much a freak about decorating for all holidays.

See I make it really spooky at Halloween.

But very cheery at Christmas.

Be sure to come by my blog in October to see how scary I can make the dining room.
This will be my first year to decorate it for all holidays. I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks so much for letting me share, Rene!


What a treat to see!  That fireplace is amazing!  And, she wasn't joking about the holidays - if you need decorating ideas Nita is your girl.  Thanks so much for stopping by today Nita!  To see more of Nita's home go here.

My Very Own Abstract Art

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

There is something timeless and striking about abstract art.  The good abstract art, not the kind I saw in the orthodontist office yesterday ;).  I know it has been a hot topic on the blogs lately so I don't mean to bore you with more of the same.  However, I do want to share with you the lovely piece that I recently won on the blog "My Many Moments".  Heather shared her inspiration on this post  and decided to try painting her own.  Actually, she made two - one to keep and one to giveaway.  I was thrilled to be the lucky recipient.

Cottage and Vine

By the way, if you haven't checked out Heather's blog, you should.  She has the formula for the modern/vintage mix that I often refer to.  Thank you Heather!

For more DIY art ideas, check out my "art" board on pinterest.  Not all of them are actually DIY projects, but they are inspiring just the same.  

I am especially crazy for this one.

Enjoy your day!

A Big Week

Monday, August 22, 2011

This is going to be a big week.  School starts Thursday (sniff) and we still have supplies to purchase and open houses to attend.  Summer reading is taking much longer than our boys realized.  Note to self, The Count of Monte Christo is a big book.  And so is Genghis Khan.  We are trying to squeeze the last few drops of summer out of our days.  The high dive at our pool is always the end of summer celebration.  In other words, it isn't summer until my husband and I go off.  I usually manage to put it off until the day the pool closes because heights aren't my idea of a fun time.

Yesterday I cut the last remaining flowers from the hydrangeas.  Another sign that summer is coming to an end.  Just as a side note, Annabelle hydrangeas should be cut to 12-18" above the ground at the end of summer.  They bloom on new growth.

Over the weekend, Mom shared some goodies from her garden.  She has such a green thumb and her gardens always blow me away.  This year, she tried growing butternut squash with great success.  Eating butternut squash in the summer has been a treat because we usually only have it in the fall roasted or in soups. This summer we have enjoyed it grilled using this recipe here.

We also celebrated Mom's birthday over the weekend.  It was a surprise and we actually pulled it off well.  Over the years, Mom has collected many things.  Her new collection is Limoges boxes.  We gave her two boxes to add to her collection.  I must admit that I have grown rather fond of these darling little boxes myself.  I can just imagine an entire collection on a dresser or side table.  They are all so delicate and the colors are beautiful.

The true Limoges boxes are stamped.  You can find them on ebay or etsy.  

Client's Family Room

Friday, August 19, 2011

If one thing is true, it is that I love pairing up with people who are stumped with their spaces.  Just having another pair of eyes looking at your room is huge.  I know first hand that this is true in my own home and often wish that I could bring my blogging friends in for the day to figure everything out.

A new client of mine recently sent me pictures of her current family room asking for help with furniture arrangement.  She likes gallery walls and swing arm mid-century lamps.  Lucky me to have a client with great taste :)

Here is her room now.  Notice the ceiling height behind the sofa.

After studying all of the photos she sent me, this is the image that came to mind as inspiration....

We are in the early, early stages, but this is going to be good.  I'll keep you posted.

If you are looking for design help, you can learn more about my services here.  I have two open spots left for September. 

Have a great weekend! 
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